Durham Reflects On First Season with Hogs

It was not the individual season that Arkansas junior transfer Jabril Durham had hoped for, but he is excited about that happened as a team for the Razorbacks (27-9) and is looking forward to improving his consistency in his second year in the program.

Arkansas junior point guard Jabril Durham did not have the season he wanted to in his first year on the Razorback roster, but did show some flashes late.

In fact, his 3-pointer gave Arkansas a 59-58 lead over North Carolina with 10:56 left in Saturday’s NCAA Tournament third-round game before the Tar-Heels went on a 17-4 run to put the game away.

Durham - who played a year each at Lubbock Christian and Seminole Junior College before arriving at Arkansas- had 5 points and 3 assists with one turnover while playing 16 minutes in the 87-78 loss to North Carolina and played 7 minutes in Thursday’s 56-53 win over Wofford with 3 points and 2 assists.

“The whole year I just wanted to stay ready,” Durham said. “I went from starting to not playing as much to my name being called in the tournament.

“I just wanted to help my team win,” Durham added. “In this game I didn’t do enough for us to win, but it’s a good thing to go in next year with the confidence.”

Durham played in all 36 games this season for Arkansas (27-9), starting nine and averaging 1.8 points in an average of 10 minutes per game while having 52 assists, 27 turnovers and 10 steals.

He shot 33 percent from the field (20-of-66), 35.7 percent from 3-point range (15-of-42) and 78.6 percent from the free throw line (11-of-14).

“I now have a year under my belt and actually played in the tournament so I know what it feels like,” Durham said. “I know I will be better next season because of that.”

The Razorbacks’ 27 wins were the sixth most wins in school history and they finished second in the SEC in both the regular season and conference tournament.

They were also a fixture in the top 25 for the majority of the season and also made the program’s first trip back to the NCAA Tournament after a seven-year absence.

“I’m very proud to have been a part of this team,” Durham said. “Nobody expected us to get to the point we are at now. We opened up a lot of eyes and we are just looking forward to next season.”

“We grew as a team as the season went on,” Durham said. “We learned how to finish games, which is something that we didn’t do last year. We gained a lot of experience and we have it coming back next year so the sky is the limit.”

Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson was clear in his post-game talk to his team that the Razorbacks should view this season as a success.

“He said ‘don’t keep your head down, just reflect on the season’ because we did a lot of big things that nobody expected us to do – got back to the Top 25, got back in the Big Dance, won lots of games in a row” Durham said. “We did a lot of positive things this year.”

Arkansas had a whopping 21 turnovers in the loss against North Carolina – the most it has had in a game in three years and something that was addressed before the contest.

“During pregame we talked about how we had to be smart during the game, but at the end we had mental breakdowns that were not normal for what we had done this season that led to the loss for us and the win for them,” Durham said.

Durham and his teammates are on spring break this week, but will be back at it soon.

“This (the North Carolina loss) will drive us even more in the off-season,” Durham said. “I can’t wait to get back at it with this guys. We got a taste this season and now we want more.”

Jabril Durham shoots over North Carolina's J.P. Tokoto.

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